Melons are a warm season crop that grow best with temperature of 86–95 °F (30–35 ℃) and are sensitive to freezing temperatures at every growth stage. Cantaloupe and honeydew melons account for a third of the U.S. melon market and are a high value crop for local production. A primary challenge for melon production in cool regions such as northwest Washington is sudden vine wilt that is caused by environmental stress such as cold soil.
Our research project is focused on testing grafting as a management option to overcome sudden vine wilt. We are identifying compatible rootstocks for melon grafting and providing production guidelines for growers in similar climatic regions. Additionally, we are evaluating melon cultivars for production in our region.